If you’re like me, you’re always looking for examples of OPS (other people’s sketches). It’s how I learn. How did they depict foliage? How are they shading? What colors are they using? What are they doing to simplify complex objects? For me, this part of the quest to be a good sketcher is a considerable chunk of the fun.
And so, as I wandered a huge, ‘buy by the kilogram’ book sale yesterday, I was flipping through books on all kinds of subjects, looking for sketching examples. It’s at such sales that I can justify paying a buck for a big book full of sketches about subjects that aren’t of particular interest to me otherwise. And while all this page-flipping doesn’t often yield results, it’s sort of a treasure hunt for me and what young boy (I’m only in my 60s afterall), doesn’t like a treasure hunt.
And so it was, yesterday, when I came across the motherlode in the form of Town and City Gardening by Michael Miller, and more importantly, illustrated by Anne Ormerod. the cover caught my eye immediately. The book presents a lot of ideas for hanging gardens, gardens in very small spaces, and a lot of architectural things associated with small gardens. And while there are photos, the book is heavily populated with gorgeous sketches of plants, gardens, windows, doors, and planters. These are split about 50:50 between black and white and color sketches but all are magnificently done in ink, with watercolor washes when done in color. I paid about a buck for my copy. From what I can tell it’s out of print but the link above does take you to a copy for sale via Abebooks, for a buck.